Icy road conditions are some of the most dangerous driving conditions you will experience. The slick surface makes it very difficult to gain traction, so knowing how to drive on ice can be life-saving information. Today, we are going to look at 5 things you need to consider when driving in icy conditions.
The best advice that you can take when driving in icy weather is to take your time and drive slower than you normally would. You should consider making some extra time before you leave so that you can take your time while still arriving at your destination on time. Driving slow can dramatically decrease your chances of getting into an accident. Not to mention, this will also reduce the amount of damage your car will receive if you do happen to lose control and hit something.
While brakes are usually used to help control your vehicle and bring you to a stop in and out of emergency situations, they can do more harm than good if used incorrectly on ice. Slamming on your brakes in icy conditions can send your vehicle into an uncontrollable skid. What you will want to do is travel slowly enough to allow the weight of your car to bring your vehicle to a stop if needed. If you do need to use your brakes on ice, slowly pump your brakes to avoid locking up your tires.
Skidding refers to losing control of your vehicle on ice and sliding across the ice with no traction. During a skid, many drivers freeze up or overcorrect, causing them to spin out of control. In order to safely get out of a skid, you will want to slowly turn into the skid and slowly pump your brakes to try to refrain traction. Once you feel your vehicle regain traction and start to straighten out, slowly move your steering wheel back into position to drive out of your skid. This may not always mean ending up in the same direction, sometimes it will simply reduce the amount of skidding you could have potentially done had you overcorrected or froze up.
Icy road conditions happen when water on the road freezes due to a drop in temperature. Watching the outdoor temperatures is a great way to stay on notice about changing road conditions. Using an in-car display that shows outdoor temperatures is a great way to determine where you may need to watch for ice patches on the road. If your car does not have this feature, you can simply check the temperature changes before leaving the house to see what you can expect.
Many people think that snow tires and snow chains will assist in icy road conditions similar to how they help in snow packed roads. The answer here is not, they do not add any additional traction on ice. Icy roads are too slick for snow tires and tire chains to make a difference, but if you already have them on your vehicle for winter driving, they certainly won’t hurt.